From GoMo to Tesco Mobile, there's plenty of great value to be had with these SIM-only deals that are available for sign up right now.
SIM-only plans have become increasingly popular in recent times and are a great way to save on your mobile costs.
Whether you’re looking for a generous allowance of calls, texts and data per month, don't want to be locked into a long contract, or simply want to save some money, a SIM-only plan is a great idea.
In this article we'll take a look at five of the best deals on the market right now.
1. GoMo - €14.99 a month
Since entering the market a few years ago, GoMo has gone from strength to strength, and the mobile network now has over a quarter of a million customers, which is a testament to just how popular it is.
With its SIM-only proposition GoMo is offering new customers 'unlimited' data, calls and texts for only €14.99 per month. This plan comes on a rolling monthly contract and customers can cancel at any time for free.
What’s more, this deal has a ‘for life’ guarantee, so the price you pay each month won’t go up - ever!
GoMo uses the Eir network and promises 99% population coverage across Ireland. However it only offers 4G data, as do all the plans in this list.
When it comes to the 'unlimited' data on offer it’s technically not unlimited, as a fair usage policy applies. This is the same for most 'unlimited' plans unless it's stated otherwise. However with GoMo its fair usage cap is 120GB of data per month, which is among the highest available from any provider, and 45,000 minutes of calls and 10,000 texts.
Should you use more data than the fair usage allows, GoMo reserves the right to reduce your speed, but some customers have said their speeds have remained respectable at 3 to 5Mbps.
GoMo customers can also use their full allowance of calls and texts while roaming in the EU along with a data allowance of 10GB per month. However, this 10GB isn't in addition to your 120GB monthly allowance, it's part of it, so it's important to bear this in mind if you consume a lot of data each month and plan on travelling abroad.
GoMo also offers its customers WiFi Calling for free.
WiFi Calling is handy as it allows your phone to make and receive calls and texts using your broadband WiFi instead of the mobile network. So, even if you’ve got some sneaky mobile black spots in your home, WiFi Calling will help ensure you never miss a call.
To use WiFi Calling, simply ensure it’s enabled on your phone and that your phone is connected to your home WiFi.
2. Virgin Mobile - €5 a month for five months
Next up is Virgin Mobile’s unlimited SIM-only plan, which offers customers 'unlimited' calls, texts, and data for only €5 a month for the first five months.
After the initial five months are up, the deal will revert to the standard price of €25 per month. However, this plan is also on a rolling, monthly contract so customers can cancel at any time without being charged.
Virgin's ‘unlimited’ calls and texts are subject to a fair usage policy of 10,000 minutes and 10,000 texts per month, which can be made to any number in the Republic of Ireland or while roaming within the EU.
However, customers will likely be more interested in its data allowance, which includes a fair usage cap of 80GB per month. While this isn't quite as high as GoMo it should still be more than enough for the average SIM-only customer. If you go over this, Virgin says it won't charge you but reserves the right to limit your speeds.
Virgin Mobile uses the Three network which offers 99% 4G population coverage so customers more familiar with that network might feel more comfortable with this plan.
When it comes to data roaming in the EU, out of the 80GB, customers have an allowance of 16.3GB per month, so a bit extra than GoMo.
3. Clear Mobile - €14.99 a month
For those who may not be too familiar with the name, Clear Mobile is the new, low-cost, online-only mobile brand from Vodafone which launched at the beginning of 2021.
Customers who sign up can get their hands on unlimited calls, texts, and data for only €14.99 per month on a 30-day, rolling contract.
At the moment, the first month is free. However a €14.99 joining fee applies if joining from other networks or on a new connection.
Clear Mobile uses Vodafone's network which offers 99% 4G population coverage across the country.
However, there are a few differences between this plan and the others in this list.
For a start Clear Mobile hasn't implemented a fair usage policy for data use, which means data truly is unlimited in every sense of the word. Customers will also have an allowance of 10GB of data while roaming in the EU.
However (there’s always a catch!) customers' speeds are restricted to a maximum of 5Mbps, so your connection won’t be nearly as fast as it potentially would be with other 4G plans out there.
This information will be of particular importance to customers hoping to use their phone as a hotspot as the max speed will still apply when using apps or browsing the web on your computer.
When it comes to calls and texts, the fair usage threshold is 45,000 minutes and 10,000 texts per month, which will also apply when roaming.
Customers should also know that there’s no allowance for international calls and texts with this plan, unlike with many of Vodafone’s plans.
4. 48 - €12.99 a month
Certainly one for those who like a bargain, this cheap SIM-only plan from 48, which also uses the Three network, is offering 'unlimited' calls, texts and data for only €12.99 per month. The fair usage policy is 200GB per month.
48 originally launched back in 2012 as Ireland’s ‘first youth-focused, digital mobile brand’ and in 2020 revamped its look and re-launched into the wider SIM-only market.
With 48 you have the the ability to ‘try before you buy’, unavailable with any other mobile offering. All SIMs from 48 come with a free 1GB so you can try out the network in full before signing up.
When it comes to roaming, 48 isn't quite as generous as some of the other plans, offering a maximum of 11GB a month.
5. Tesco Mobile - €20 a month
Last but not least in our list is Tesco Mobile whose €20 a month SIM-only plan comes on a rolling, 30-day contract.
With this plan Tesco Mobile is offering 'unlimited' any network calls, texts, and data for customers in the Republic. Similar to Virgin, Tesco Mobile uses the Three network in Ireland.
What distinguishes this SIM-only plan from the rest is that you also get 300 international minutes per month to select countries, or five hours - perfect for any expats who want to phone home, whether that be Poland, the UK, or the USA.
Tesco Mobile's fair usage policy for data is capped at 60GB per month, the lowest among the providers listed here. That being said, the average mobile user generally shouldn't use more than 15 to 20GB per month. However, if you're considering tethering your phone and using it as a hotspot, it might be a better idea to choose one of the other plans with a higher data allowance, as Tesco will charge you 3 cent per Mb for anything above your monthly limit.
However, its fair usage policy for calls and texts should be more than enough with 10,000 any network texts and 10,000 any network minutes to landlines and mobiles and while roaming in the EU.
For data roaming in the EU, you'll get 13GB per month.
As this SIM-only deal is a bit more 'pricey' compared to its rivals, if you’re looking to get value for money each month you’d need to be making good use of the international minutes available (with all the other plans you’d be paying out-of-bundle rates which can be costly).
All in all, this plan combines a reliable network with all the data, calls and texts you'll realistically need as well as a generous allocation of international call minutes.
Choosing the right SIM-only plan
All of the above plans represent excellent value.
The right one for you will depend on your individual preferences, but apart from cost, here are the things that you'll want to consider:
- Calls and texts per month
- Data allowance
- Fair usage policy
- International calls and texts
- EU roaming allowance
- Network coverage
- Download speeds
- 4G versus 5G
- Sign-up incentives
- Customer service
- Contract length
For more information, have a read of our other blog on 10 things to consider when choosing a mobile phone plan.